Major labels ‘positive and hopeful’ about Facebook licensing


Representatives from the three major labels are hopeful that Facebook’s music-licensing ambitions will be a positive thing for the industry, rather than another ‘value gap’ battle in the making.

Music Ally asked Universal Music’s Michael Nash, Sony Music’s Dennis Kooker and Warner Music’s Stu Bergen about the social network’s plans in a series of interviews after yesterday’s IFPI Global Music Report event in London.

“We are generally positive and hopeful that Facebook can enter into a relationship with music companies where they are identifying content, filtering content, implementing rights management and monetising content. That is our hope,” said Nash.

“We would like a free-market negotiation – a seller and buyer negotiation – where licensed content is made available on the service,” added Bergen. Naturally, none of the label execs could talk about specific discussions or deal terms.

Kooker was more cautious about Facebook’s intentions. “Obviously the potential with the reach of Facebook is tremendous. Whether or not they are serious about music to me is a still a big question mark. I don’t know that for certain and I certainly haven’t seen any plans at this point that would lead us to believe that,” he said.

“It is a balancing act. What we don’t want to do is have a situation where we have poorly monetised ad-supported tiers that are not promoting the growth of paid subscription.”

Read the full piece to see Nash, Kooker and Bergen’s views on evolving streaming ARPU; Spotify’s new two-week premium window; the impact of shifting the global release day to Friday; and whether Ed Sheeran killed the charts.

And if you missed our report on the IFPI’s press conference yesterday, click (or tap!) here to read that.

Stuart Dredge

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